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Basic Imp-stinct

Updated on November 1, 2016
Docmo profile image

Mohan is a family physician, film and TV aficionado, a keen bibliophile and an eclectic scribbler.

Basic IMPstinct

I am lying on the couch with my eyes closed. It is one of those gentle reveries that have been really soothing lately. Awake but not quite. Drifting into the hazy mists of a nap but still aware of the soft susurration of noises that surround me.

The hum of the fridge; the gentle whoosh of the laptop fan; the creak of a door somewhere; the pitter patter of autumn rain outside; the song.

Wait a minute. A song?

'Last Christmas, I gave you my heart....’

In my semi-nap my brain told me that I had no music playing and yet the song sounds close enough to my ears.

‘But the very next day, you gave it away’

I still have my eyes closed but tilt my head to check if this is some weird internal monologue or whether there actually is an external source. Of course, it would be much easier to open my eyes but my eyelids are resting and refuse to budge.

‘This year, to save you my tears...’

I realise that the song isn’t going to stop and that I will have to open my eyes. My eyelids groan and want to give it another second. After all, I have been under a lot of stress lately and perhaps my brain is playing games. Wham-Games!

‘I gave it to someone special...’

My ears however, come on board much quicker. The tympani perk up and decide to pay attention. Now it isn’t George Michael’s mellifluous vocals that are caressing my ear. Instead, the voice is akin to a badly tuned tractor engine. It had all the finesse of a p-p-p-performing pig with painful pharyngitis.

Yet it is strangely familiar. I have heard it before... a few months ago.

I sit up with a jolt. I fear the worst.

Miss me

‘So did you miss me?’ says Pandemonicum Grenvillard Woodimp (or for those dear readers who are familiar with this infestation, P.G. Woodimp) He is sitting on a recliner few feet away from my couch, preening like a hairy primate in a beautifully cut suit.

‘ Like a pimple on my bum’ I say, rather unkindly.

Fact is, I have been missing his mad meanderings. I have not had the pleasure of his company for a few weeks. I had extricated myself from the hubpages temporarily due to family demands and had thought the Imp would come back and pester me but disappointingly he never did. Until today.

‘ Ah. You are still under stress, dear boy. Grief is a strange concoction. It makes us lash out at those we love’

I fold my arms above my head and sigh. ‘Who says anything about love. I don’t love you.’

The Imp steeples its fingers under a contemplative chin and cocks its head to one side.

“The question, dear boy, is not whether you love me or not. It is whether you still love yourself and your art enough’

I bite my lips. When the Imp strips away my psyche I always feel my throat tightening. I call it my Freudian choke.

“Thats rather deep for a Sunday afternoon.” I say wearily.

“You deserve nothing less. I am not one of those shallow, frivolous Imps from the 4th dimension. You know the ones who sing Irish drinking songs all day and hone their one-liners? While they are funny and rather good company when inebriated, deep they ain’t.” The cut-glass accent sounds strange with a voice like that.

I slide down the couch. I know I am going to get the full works from the Imp today. Resistance is futile. Thankfully there is no one in the house and I didn’t want to be caught talking to an empty chair. The Imp has indicated to me in the previous appearances that it only manifests to my eyes by choice.

“To what do I owe this dubious pleasure?”

The Imp stands up. stretches and approaches the side board. I know where it is headed. I keep a decanter of decent single malt there. It is my favourite malt, Glenrothes. I haven’t touched the stuff for ages. He pours a couple of fingers into two glass tumblers and hands one over to me.

Sláinte!” He gulps it down and goes”brrr” in a fake shiver.



I sip mine and relish the golden liquid sliding down my gullet. Mmmm. I start to feel a tad alive again.The Imp sits back in the chair. This time instead of a suit it seems to wearing a short white dress.

“Maybe you’ll pay more attention to the feminine form” It chuckles and crosses its legs lasciviously and very slowly.

I swallow a scream. “Don’t ever.” I lift a stern index finger, “Don’t ever do that again. It’s wrong in so many ways. I have no desire to ogle at your miniature crown jewels or whatever they are.”

“Sorry. I was merely showing you my Freudian ‘slip’.” The Imp winks. “I know when you start insulting me that your spirit is on the up and up”

“To what do I owe this visit?”

“I felt a bit bad after dangling you to Accubus the Succubus. I was merely aiming to tease out the hub-killer. That is old hat now. A lot has happened since. The hub missed you, dear boy. But not as much as you have missed the hubs.”

I nodded, feeling rather guilty. I had been neglecting my creative urges following a traumatic few weeks. I slide down the couch and sip some more scotch to mop away the guilt.

“No one will miss me. I am just a speck in the hub-verse. Every day hundreds of talented scribes sign up, write hubs and create traffic. “


He's a Maniac

The Imp, thankfully, is back in its suit. It now has a notepad and is scribbling away like a maniac.

“Indolence and procrastination are inherent in your constitution. As are self -pity, guilt and cognitive dissonance. But do keep talking.” it urges.

“I do love writing though. The pleasure of creation - be it a poem, story or an article is an addiction. The power I have over my literary universe is intoxicating yet frightening. At one end I know I can write anything I want for my own delectation. At the other, I know I need validation, readership and feedback. It is a strange dichotomy. A strange symbiosis”

“Mm hmm”

“I go through phases like a binge drinker. Words pour out of me and onto the screen when I am wired. I can’t physically stop. But then, there are times when real life and its demands take over. Does this mean I am not passionate enough about this craft? Have I relegated it to a fancy dream? a pie in the sky?"

“Mm hmm”

“ I feel writing is in my DNA. It is hardwired into my being. I want to keep doing it. Despite my professional roles, family responsibilities and other interests, this remains my spark. The creative magma that fires my insides. Yet I relegate it as a hobby...”

“Mm hmm”

" I can't deny an idea when it gestates inside me. This creative pregnancy and the eventual birth of a finished product can be a painful yet powerful journey. The afterglow of being a proud parent of a hub is incredible. All the more rewarding when fellow hubbers appreciate your progeny!"

I stop, feeling a bit silly. I scratch my hair and blink away some dust in my eyes. The throat relaxes and the weight that I had been carrying around on my chest and head lifts. My brain snaps back into action and a thousand, nay, a million ideas spark around my synapses.

“Wow!” I say.

“Exactly.” Says the Imp with an, er.., Impish grin.

“What did you do?”


What do you do

PG Woodimp stands up and stretches. I hear something creak.

“No, dear boy. The question is, What did -you- do?”

I jump up and hug the furball for the first time. He feels cuddlier than I thought.

I sniff and smile. “Does this physical display of emotion contravene the Author- Imp relationship?”

The Imp pats me on my back, “Only if you grab my bum, Docmo, only if you grab my bum”

We move away quickly as men tend to do after a random act of Bromance like handholding or hugging, especially when not related to a sporting event.

I look at him up and down. “Nice suit, by the way. Armani?”

The Imp flicks a speck off its immaculate lapels. “No. There is a Savile Row of Impworld in the 23rd dimension. The suitmaker Imp is incredibly talented. And acts as consultant sometimes to Ted, Giorgio, Hugo and Paul”

“You don’t say.”

“I can get him to measure you for a suit. You’ll love his cut. Only one thing, just watch it when he does your inside legs. He can get a bit close”

I involuntarily cross my legs. “ I think Il pass for now.”

PG walks towards my laptop and opens it with a flourish. “So what are you waiting for, your world awaits.”

I crack my knuckles and grin. “Thanks, PG. You are a pal.”



“You are welcome, or as they say in Impish, ‘Grabalathena Multungu’ I need to teach you my language sometime”

I nod . “Will you come back?”

The Imp walks towards my bookshelf into a cloud of sulphurous smelling yellow vapour, “I have some business with an masseuse impette I met at a dragon racing event in the 7th dimension. I have some aching muscles she could take care off.... but I’ll be back, dear boy. You can’t keep me away for long.... see ya soon”

He is gone and the greenish yellow vapour dissipates leaving a vague smell of a firecracker.

I walk towards my laptop knowing well that my favourite fellow hubbers will be there, always supportive, always giving and always creative in their endeavours.

It’s good to be back.

There is a loud crack and through a circle of fizzing light I could see PG Woodimp lying on a massage table with an impette walking slowly on his back.

"Oh, I forgot something. dear boy"


“Happy anniversary! It has been 12 months since you joined hubpages.”

“Oh that”

But I have lost him to the pleasures of the 7th dimension.

The Imp’s face suddenly goes lax. “Ahhh, there, there, I think she has found a sweet spot .... Bye bye!”

The Imp returns in 'Impception'

I'll be back...
I'll be back...

© 2011 Mohan Kumar


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    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 

      8 years ago from Daytona Beach, Florida

      Voted up and interesting. Love that imp! Passing this on.

    • torrilynn profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice hub and very interesting. Im sorry for your loss of your dad. I love your hubs and hope to continue to read them. Voted up.

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 

      9 years ago from Germany

      Sorry to hear about your dad. I´m glad you´re back so I could read more of your great hubs. Thanks for sharing this Imp to us. It´s a wonderful and funny read. Voted up and awesome.

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      Thank you Mary. I wrote this in January this year when I had been away from the hubs for well over 6 months and I had lost my dad in November 2011. I missed the hubs and this was one of my 'return' hubs.

      You know what, it is comments like yours - warm, supportive, appreciative and honest- that made me realise that my craft was worth forging. You are *the rock*!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      9 years ago from New York

      Your 'performing pig with painful pharyngitis" seems to be just the medicine you need. I cannot believe you would even think "No one will miss me. I am just a speck in the hub-verse." You are so much more than a speck in the hub-verse, you are a rock, a great mind that provides the best hubs!

      You were sorely missed. I had to go back and re-read Pooh hubs waiting for you ;)

      Your photo of you and the imp is priceless.

      Lastly, but not least important, congrats on your one year anniversary. I hope you will be here for years and years to come.

      Voted a grand slam and shared with my followers!!!

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      Ah, My goddess has sent her blessings. (starts chanting.. sunshine..sunshine..sunshine)

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      Debbie- thank you so much. I'm really glad, the Imp is getting some airing again.

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      Rachel- thanks for liking these esoteric conversations. A psychologist will have a field day. BTW are you one?

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      TT, glad someone likes his visits.

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      Dana - glad you like this critter. He is tiresome, persistent and rude. But then, so am I.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      9 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I gave the lil imp a pimp! :)

    • Deborah Brooks profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 

      9 years ago from Brownsville,TX

      this is so delightful to rad.. so funny.. I love your friend..LOL.. I have to read the other ones.

      voted up and sharing


    • theclevercat profile image

      Rachel Vega 

      9 years ago from Massachusetts

      I love the imp! I can't get enough of these esoteric conversations. Voted up and awesome, of course!

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 

      9 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      I love his impish visits. :)

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 

      9 years ago from Ohio

      I like reading this very much.. Love your imp. I have a thing for odd characters. For example, Gollum is my favorite character in The Hobbit. I will have to read your other Imp hubs... So very very glad that you came back to hubpages. Your writng has enriched my life beyond words. Hope you stick around for a while!

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      Dear Amy, 'talented, driven, brilliant and gorgeous'. The Imp is mighty pleased. thanks darling.

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      Dear Epi, Feline and sofs - much appreciated.

    • Amy Becherer profile image

      Amy Becherer 

      9 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Awwwww, the imp has a sweet side. Fantastic imagination and flow, as always, Docmo. You have been very missed...there is only one Docmo, talented, driven, brilliant and gorgeous. Missed and love ya

    • sofs profile image


      9 years ago

      Happy anniversary.. May the imp visit you more often and I can tell that Imp-O-therapy works well for this was fun!!

    • profile image

      Feline Prophet 

      9 years ago

      Great to hear PGW's back! :)

    • epigramman profile image


      9 years ago always and so great to hook up with you once again - your hubs are like journeys into the hall of fame in your mind and should be framed for all to see at the Hub Louvre - must say it was Sharon's legs which caught my eye and what a shock I had ....when I saw the rest - lol - but no doubt I was delighted by your storyline and vivid imagination (it inspires the epi-man) along with your world class wit ......will post this classic most happily to my Facebook page with a direct link back here - and hey buddy you look so darn cool in your profile pioture - the last time sunglasses looked that cool was Tom Cruise in Risky Business - sending you warm wishes and good energy from ontario canada lake erie time 1:09pm

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      9 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Maybe the Lincoln Imp came to London for a naughty weekend, and I saw him/her there.

      Southwark Cathedral isn't far from here, and only a few minutes walk from where I used to teach.

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      @ Ruby - As always, it is a delight to be appreciated by friends. thank you.

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      @Dear Tina, thank you for your kind comments.

      @Twilight - glad you enjoyed my use of words. The said Imp is the one from Lincoln Cathedral - there is a legend of the Lincoln Imp ...

      @Becky- thank you very much.

      @drbj- I am happy to be back amongst talented friends old and new!

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      @Sunnie Day - glad to see your smiling visage here, Sunnie. Much appreciated.

    • Docmo profile imageAUTHOR

      Mohan Kumar 

      9 years ago from UK

      @Martie - I'm glad to be back too - especially when one knows one has been missed! Thank you so much.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      9 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Hello Docmo, Happy to see you again. Fun hub. Very creative writing. Your Imp pal is a riot. Thank you..

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      9 years ago from south Florida

      Your Imp has a great body, Docmo. Sharon Stone told me she wants it back. But his face leaves a lot to be desired. Happy to have you back nevertheless, imp and all. Happy One Year anniversary. May we celebrate many more with you.

    • Becky Katz profile image

      Becky Katz 

      9 years ago from Hereford, AZ

      Great hub. Welcome back and congrats for the year on hubpages.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image

      Twilight Lawns 

      9 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      A delicious use of words. Thank you... and Thank you Sunnie for pushing me, ever so gently, in this direction.

      The impish gargoyle looks like the decorations on the arches at Southwark Cathedral. Friend of yours?

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 

      9 years ago from Sweden

      It is great to see that you are back Docmo and I enjoyed reading about the Imp again:) A great hub as usual! Congrats on 1 year at hub pages!


    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      9 years ago

      Hello Docmo,

      Yes you have been missed very much and so glad you are back..Congrats on your 12 months on hubs..Thank you to the Imp for waking you from a short nap so that we could see your face once more.

      Loved this hub..very creative..

      Happy Holidays,


    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      I have missed you! So glad you are back. Lovely song. Impressive and well-written story that must have ensured you that you are indeed born with an instinctive urge to write.

      Docmo, you will find many of the old hubbers gone. A lot of things have changed in here. I hope you soon find your way to all corners.

      I'll share this hub of yours with all my followers and friends.

      Welcome back!


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